Translator Disclaimer
1 April 2015 A re-evaluation of the formula to estimate the volume of orb web glue droplets
Chen-Pan Liao, Sean J. Blamires, Mary L. Hendricks, Brent D. Opell
Author Affiliations +
Abstract

The size and shape of the glue droplets along the spiral threads of orb webs play an important role in web function. Despite this, methods for estimating droplet volume are not well defined, with contradicting formulas published. Here we address the discrepancies in the published formulas with a mathematical derivation that assumes that a glue droplet conforms to a parabola along one side of the axial line. We confirmed the validity of our derived formula by comparing it with the results of numerical integration. We also document that a droplet continues to conform to a parabola as its volume changes with environmental humidity. Our formula can be applied simply by collecting the spiral threads, examining the droplets under a light microscope and measuring their length and width, making it easy to compare the droplets of different species collected at different relative humidities.

The American Arachnological Society
Chen-Pan Liao, Sean J. Blamires, Mary L. Hendricks, and Brent D. Opell "A re-evaluation of the formula to estimate the volume of orb web glue droplets," The Journal of Arachnology 43(1), 97-100, (1 April 2015). https://doi.org/10.1636/M14-50.1
Received: 2 September 2014; Accepted: 1 December 2014; Published: 1 April 2015
JOURNAL ARTICLE
4 PAGES